San Diego, CALIF. — For decades, hundreds of the world’s top computer scientists have quietly but steadfastly collaborated to bring breakthrough theories of computer science to bear on the world of technical computing. Although largely unrecognized by the nontechnical audience, their work has had vast effects on users of supercomputers and small desktop units alike. Whether they realize it or not, virtually everyone who uses computers for statistical, scientific or engineering applications is touched by the Numerical Algorithms Group.
Thousands of commercial and public sector projects have purchased and relied on the Numerical Algorithms Group’s library and software offerings. Countless other computing solutions worldwide have been shaped by the precepts developed by the Numerical Algorithms Group.
The Numerical Algorithms Group’s worldwide experts are drawn together by common desires to tame sometimes unwieldy mathematical constructs into terms understood by binary-bound and finitely defined computing machines. One needs only to consider the difficulties of managing round off errors from manipulating numbers such as pi (3.14159265358) to glimpse into the magnitude of problems which command their attention.
By mastering these exigencies of numeric computing, the Numerical Algorithms Group creates practical tools for technical computing. Ultimately, their efforts make the difference between smart missiles that make their target and those that don’t, and in product design simulations that save millions of dollars and those that don’t. Likewise, stock portfolios can be successfully optimized, unexpected insights can be mined from market data, hurricane damage can be averted, and oil reserves can be found and refined most profitably.
From its inception, the Numerical Algorithms Group (NAG) has been focused on developing numerical portability across diverse machine types. They were the first to say that such machine idiosyncrasies should be overcome and to show the way to do it. The result was the world’s first fully portable library of numerical FORTRAN routines developed in 1970 and 1971 and since used by hundreds of thousands of engineers and researchers worldwide.
As computers continued to revolutionize, technical computing requirements grew ever more complex. The Numerical Algorithms Group created methods to keep numerical software portable. To those in the know, the building blocks of numerical computing that NAG helped foster, the BLAS (Basic Linear Algebra Subprograms), are indispensable to the performance and reliability that users of technical computing programs of all types have come to expect. Through the decades, these numeric portability standards pioneered by the Numerical Algorithms Group came to include the Level 2 BLAS (for matrix vector operations) and the Level 3 BLAS (for matrix matrix operations). Today, nearly all commercially available software packages with numeric components reference these standards promoted by the Numerical Algorithms Group. Many of these include the actual software routines for numerical and statistical computation invented by NAG.
The Numerical Algorithms Group reinvests all profits back into product development. This unsurpassed commitment to research and development has resulted in a long list of world firsts, including:
∑ The world’s first FORTRAN Library and the only one that has been continuously rewritten and improved for nearly thirty years. In the past five years alone, this FORTRAN Library has had 222 new routines added and 156 routines replaced, such that more than half of the Library is newly tailored for current technical computing requirements.
∑ The world’s first numeric C Library, which is similarly under constant development by many of the more than 300 Numerical Algorithms Group contributors.
∑ The worlds’ first numeric library written in FORTRAN 90.
∑ The world’s first and only commercially available portable numeric FORTRAN SMP Library.
∑ The world’s first commercially available portable numeric Parallel Library.
∑ The world’s only numeric libraries that make extensive use of fully documented sample routines, allowing users a fast and accurate method of solving their own problems utilizing simple cut and paste operations.
∑ The world’s first FORTRAN 90 and FORTRAN 95 compilers.
∑ The world’s first and only complete packages of technical computing software made available at low cost to academic sites.